Yesterday afternoon went on an adventure with my little love. Exploring rock pools, collecting shells and building 'fires'. I love that I have the flexibility to have free afternoons to go and explore and be grounded in nature with Mila by my side but it hasn't always felt good like this.
There was a time when she was younger that adventures like this felt incredibly difficult to pull off and to be honest they felt more stressful than enjoyable. I would force plans like this to happen even if I didn't feel like I had the capacity for them. They would overestimate me and I would feel overwhelmed by the pressure to enjoy it and be present, when my mind was not able to be present.
I struggled with depressive episodes postpartum and I struggled for a long time to even admit this to myself because I so badly didn't want to feel depressed. I wanted so desperately to be able to enjoy these moments that I would still go ahead with executing them and pretend to myself that they were enjoyable even though they caused me more anxiety and exhaustion than anything else!
I wanted to share this to normalize that even I, as a Mental Health practitioner, was in denial about my own feelings of depression. That even I struggled to come to terms with the fact that I was struggling. That even I placed a false smile on my face to try and convince myself that I was okay.
But I wasn't okay and that is okay. There was nothing wrong with me for struggling, it was just a heavy season. There is nothing wrong with you for struggling, maybe it's a heavy season or maybe it's been a few seasons of heaviness. It's okay to not be okay and it's also okay to take awhile to come to terms with that.
I see you and I honour your humanness and I honour my own too.
When was the turning point for me? When I admitted to myself that I wasn't okay. When I said it out loud to my husband. When I shared little bits with friends and family. When I told my therapist. When I started to own my feelings and take accountability for them. When I started allowing myself to feel again. Because depression is a symptom of suppressing your true emotions.
It's the dis-ease that comes from shoving it down and pretending your feeling don't exist, aren't important or aren't valid. It's the intellectual mind telling you that you shouldn't feel this way when you have a lot of good in your life, criticizing you for not being 'stronger or not being able to handle more but when you let you heart speak there is only truth.
The hurt that exists needs to be felt in order to be set free. Your heart will lead the way if you are brave enough to let it feel your true feelings and you allow yourself to be seen.
You are not alone. You are not weak. You are worthy of receiving support, love and validation.